Review: Bürstner Ixeo Time IT700

By: Bill Savidan, Photography by: Bill Savidan


It takes a quality motorhome to clock up 100,000-plus km and look as good as its newer counterparts. Bill Savidan marvels at a Euro-built model unravaged by time

When European and UK-built motorhomes were first imported into New Zealand, local commentators looked them over and pronounced them ‘lovely to look at’ but asked ‘will they survive in our conditions?

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This classy-looking motorhome has the look and feel of current models

All those winding metal roads. Don’t think they’re up to it.’ Well, what a surprise, they did stand up to it. And they flourished. Later, when these offshore-built products started popping up in motorhome rental fleets, the naysayers were at it again: ‘They’ll never survive the rigours of rental fleet life.’

But surprise, surprise, they successfully jumped that hurdle too. This review is of a German-built Bürstner Ixeo Time IT700 that has spent the past three seasons as part of the Wilderness Rentals motorhome fleet, clocking up 150,000km in the process.

When I arrived at the Wilderness Motorhomes/SmartRV yard, the IT700 was angle-parked out front among an array of new Bürstner motorhomes.

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An awning provides shelter from springs showers and summer sun

Immaculately presented, it looked like new. The giveaway was the rego plate. The new ones were ‘plate-less’. Later on, during the photo shoot, two separate passers-by were astounded when they found out the IT700 was three years old.

They thought it was new. Like most European motorhomes, the IT700 is built on a Fiat Ducato cab chassis. This one has the very stable wide rear axle.

A 2.3-litre Multijet Euro 5 turbo diesel engine drives the front wheels through a six-speed AMT auto gearbox. It is a proven motorhome base vehicle that performs well on city roads, on motorways and on country roads, whether metalled or sealed.

Safety aids feature strongly and the Fiat comes fitted with dual air bags, anti-locking brake system (ABS), electronic stability program (ESP), traction plus, hill holder, reversing camera/monitor and an LPG alarm.

On the outside

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The IT700 is certified self-contained for freedom camping

This is a classy-looking motorhome. A pristine white body complements the champagne-coloured cab while contrasting with the black and grey decals and the alloy wheels.

Across the rear of the RV is a garage with an access door on the driver’s side. Practical in size and shape, it is home to the spare wheel, and the ladder to access the drop-down bed; and a nifty storage bag containing the grey and fresh water hoses separated by a compartment for the campground 240-volt power lead.

Kerbside towards the rear is the LPG bottle locker (1x 9kg and 1x 4.5kg). Forward, just behind the cab, is a hatch to access the fresh water filler, the 240-volt power plug and the valves for emptying the fresh water tank and the hot water cylinder.

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The storage bag contains the grey and fresh water hoses

Below is the outlet for the grey water tank. Most Bürstner models now have service points conveniently grouped together in this way. There’s no need for external steps on the IT700.

The low entry step makes it very easy to enter and exit; just two steps up and you are inside. The entry door has a window and a separate insect screen to cover the entrance.

The floor through the middle is 120mm lower than the bedroom and ablutions at the back and the cab and dinette at the front, providing excellent headroom through the kitchen area.

All the cabinetry is finished in medium/dark brown timber grain-patterned laminate with a hint of grey/blue in the pattern. Drawer fronts and locker doors are a very light brown timber grain-patterned laminate.

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The L-shaped bench forms a refuge for the ‘kitchen hand’

Furnishings are in complementary shades of brown. At the front of the vehicle, the dinette/lounge is a very convivial space. With the cab seats rotated to face the table, it seats four in comfort and six at a pinch.

The tabletop can be moved in every direction, allowing everyone to get in and out while remaining close enough for eating in comfort. The lounge seats and tabletop are an odd shape, but they perform their function very well.

I was impressed with the way the leather upholstery has come through its hire experience with no wear patches and minimal stretch. It looks comfortably mature.

If you like to watch television, make sure you are seated on a cab seat or one of the side settees, not the forward-facing dinette seats as they have their backs to the screen, which is mounted on an angled wall beside the entry door.

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The tabletop can be moved in every direction

Above the dinette/lounge is a drop-down bed that has the occupants sleeping (east/west) across the motorhome. The press button controls raise/lower the bed, which stops automatically at the sleeping level and stowed away level.

All but the most agile will need the ladder provided to get in and out of bed. There are three roof hatches; a panorama over the cab, a medium size over the island bed, and a mini above the toilet with a vent rather than a hatch above the shower stall.

With a drop-down bed there’s no room for a hatch above the dinette/lounge. It doesn’t really matter because the panorama over the lounge provides more than enough light.
The L-shaped bench forms a refuge for the ‘kitchen hand’.

An efficient workspace, it has three LPG hobs under the window with a circular sink behind the dinette seats. Opposite is more bench space on top of the 145-litre three-way fridge/freezer.

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The shower stall panels fit tightly together like a jigsaw puzzle

Food and beverage storage is adequate, with a locker above the hobs plus two more, one each side of the dinette/lounge. In addition, there are two drawers (one for cutlery) and a cupboard under the bench.

This cupboard storage could be improved by fitting shelves and dividers. Below the bench is a small Duplex oven and above the hobs is an extractor fan. Stepping through from the kitchen to the bedroom you pass by the shower stall and the washroom (toilet/handbasin).

The shower stall walls, tray and ceiling are carefully moulded from acrylic sheet and fit tightly together like a jigsaw puzzle, creating a roomy and attractive shower stall. 

Located on the driver’s side, the washroom houses a versatile Thetford swivel toilet alongside an attractive opaque glass handbasin mounted on top of the vanity.

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A compact washroom with ample storage

Beside the mirror is a medicine cabinet, with further storage in the cupboard beneath the handbasin. While the shower and washroom can be isolated from the rest of the motorhome, they are not isolated from the bedroom.

The rear island bed is slightly offset to the driver’s side, creating a wide shelved locker kerbside and a narrower hanging locker on the driver’s side with two large overhead lockers in between. Two large lockers at the foot of the bed provide more storage.

As illustrated, the island bed has been pushed against the rear wall to improve access past the foot of the bed (the slat base and mattress fold upwards). Pulled out to full length, the bed is 1900mm long down the middle.

Note that the corners of the mattress have been cut off to improve access. The plinth top either side of the bed covers the large garage below.

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To improve access the base and mattress fold upwards when pushed against the rear wall

The IT700 is fitted with four 230-volt power points; one each side of the island bed, one in the washroom, one in the kitchen and one inverter 230-volt power point behind the driver’s seat. Heating is by way of a Truma Combi 4E heater (LPG & 230V).

It is certified self contained, has 120-litre fresh and 90-litre grey water tanks and two 12-volt house batteries with a total capacity of 180amp hrs.

The Ixeo Time IT700, with its permanent island bed, has the look and feel of current models. It is well equipped for two people with a separate comfortable bed for occasional guests.

With its large lounge, practically laid out kitchen, separate shower and toilet, large rear garage, and compliance with freedom camping requirements it is a must-see for adventure-seeking buyers.

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Lots to see – and all day to see it

Specifications

Make

Bürstner/ Fiat Ducato

Model Ixeo IT 700
Engine

2.3L turbo diesel

Gearbox 6-speed AMT auto gearbox
Berths 4
Length 6990mm
Width

2300mm

Height

2800mm

Fresh/Grey water/Hot water

120L/ 90L/10L

Power

130 BHP Euro 5

GVW 3500kg
Tare 3005kg
Payload 495kg

Price as reviewed: $114,900

Pros:

  • Amazingly good condition considering the kilometres it has travelled.
  • Drop-down second bed for guests.
  • Large rear garage.

Cons:

  • Guest using the ablutions department at night may feel they are intruding on the owners’ privacy.

As reviewed this Ixeo IT700 retails for $114,900 including GST and on-road costs. For further information visit smartrv.co.nz or call the SmartRV sales team on 0800 007 627 (Auckland) or 0800 007 628 (Christchurch).

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